On Friday 17th of May, a series of Patchwork Alumni Roundtable discussions was launched at 10 Downing Street. The main aim of these roundtable discussions is to allow Patchwork Alumni members to discuss important topics related to self-development as well as provide broader peer support.
Zahra Latif, a Patchworker and now Private Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Unit, kindly offered to facilitate the first roundtable format discussion at 10 Downing Street. The topic of discussion was “defining success in the workplace”. At the beginning of the discussion, Zahra gave a brief introduction into her role as Private Secretary and explained her most important factors to determine success in the workplace; diversity of people’s backgrounds, and being the helping hand we wish to have through mentoring. Drawing from her own experience, she explained how being a young person from an underrepresented background allowed her to stand out in her job interview. “Be authentic to yourself, always question your intentions” she stated. Such piece of advice and encouragement are very valuable to me as I am going to enter the working world very soon.
In addition to this, many other Patchworkers gave their own opinion of “what success at the workplace means for them”. Unsurprisingly, we reached the conclusion as to how success should be measured against doing as much good in society as you can. Personally, as a Patchworker, this is indeed a very important measure of success that I will take into account when entering the workplace.
This opportunity is really important and beneficial for the Alumni as we can learn from each others experiences and take on someone else’s advice. Thanks to this opportunity, a Patchworker cannot only avoid making mistakes, but also be confident when faced with particular situations.
Personally, listening to Zahra’s journey made me feel really inspired. Her story demonstrates how it is possible for a young person from an underrepresented background to thrive in such a privileged work environment as such as No. 10 Downing Street.
Written by Diana Reyes Rafael. Diana is a second-year law student at SOAS University of London. She graduated from the Patchwork Foundation Masterclass Programme in 2018, and is now supporting with the 2019 Masterclass Programme. She aspires to become a qualified solicitor, and stand for a political office in the near future.